This slow cooker crack chicken is made with juicy chicken, ranch seasoning, cream cheese, cheddar, and bacon bits. It has all the addicting flavors you crave!
What is Slow Cooker Crack Chicken?
Crack chicken is made from the classic combination of “crack” ingredients: chicken, cream cheese, ranch seasoning, cheddar, and bacon. It is the famous “crack dip” with the addition of a protein. The term “crack” originated as a reference to how incredibly addicting the combination of flavors are. Once you try it, you can’t stop!
How to Make Crack Chicken
This slow cooker crack chicken is essentially a “set and forget” dish. Place the ingredients in the slow cooker and go about your daily errands. Dinner will be ready in a few short hours.
- Prepare the bacon: Cook the bacon strips and cut into bite sized pieces or strips. Set aside in a separate bowl.
- Season the chicken: Place the chicken into the crock pot and season with ranch seasoning.
- Spread the cream cheese: Cut cream cheese into small cubes and spread over the top of the chicken.
- Cook: Set the slow cooker on low heat for five hours. Cover with a lid.
- Shred the chicken: Shred the chicken with two forks or meat shredding claws. Add cooked bacon pieces. Stir to combine.
- Top it off: Top the chicken with cheddar cheese and allow it to melt. Sprinkle sliced green onions on top.
Crack Chicken Variations
Change up the flavor of your crack chicken with these variations.
- Make it spicy: For a spicy kick, add chopped pickled jalapeños or red pepper flakes along with the bacon. Or, pour in a bit of hot sauce or buffalo sauce and mix.
- Mix in veggies: To add vegetables to the dish, pre-cook sliced mushrooms, onions, and/or bell peppers. Mix them into the shredded chicken after it is fully cooked.
- Change up the cheese: We like to use cheddar cheese, but Colby, Monterey Jack, or Swiss cheese work well, too.
- Substitute with chicken breast: When you don’t have skinless chicken thighs, chicken breast is a good alternative. We prefer chicken thighs for their juiciness, as chicken breast makes a drier crack chicken. If the crack chicken is too dry, add chicken broth.
- Add additional seasoning: Onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika are great seasoning additions to the crack chicken.
Tips from the Kitchen
Crack chicken is loved for its addicting flavors. Follow these tips to get the most out of this dish.
- Prepare the chicken: Cut off any extra fat from the chicken to make the dish more lean.
- Check chicken temperature: Depending on the size of the chicken, cooking time may vary. Chicken is done when the internal temperature reaches 165°F when checked with a thermometer.
- Season as needed: Season with salt and pepper when necessary. Or, add your favorite other seasonings and spices, too.
- Use fresh bacon: Our family loves freshly cooked bacon because it tastes the best. However, substitute it with eight slices of pre-cooked bacon for a great taste as well.
- Shredding is optional: We like to shred the chicken so all the flavors evenly distribute. However, this is not necessary.
Ways to Serve
With this rich and creamy crack chicken, you’ve got the protein part of a meal covered. To balance out the meal, add a vegetable side dish. The chicken has so much flavor that the veggie dish doesn’t need to be uber fancy. We love to serve it with a simple side of air fryer broccoli or asparagus. For a fuller vegetable dish, we love a classic caesar salad or a fancier beet and goat cheese arugula salad.
The chicken is also great paired with rice or over pasta. A crack chicken sandwich using sourdough bread, french bread, or brioche buns is also wonderful, especially when topped with coleslaw. If you prefer wraps, stuff it into a tortilla or a lettuce wrap. Or, stuff it into a baked potato.
Serving tip: Crack chicken can remain at room temperature for up to two hours while serving. Keep it in the crockpot to stay warm.
Storage Tips + Reheating
Crack chicken is a dish that keeps giving — over and over again. Make a large batch of crack chicken and use it throughout the week. Or, freeze it to have it ready-to-go for dinner on your next busy evening.
- Refrigerator: To store for up to three days, place leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.
- Freezer: To store for up to three months, place shredded chicken in an airtight container or Ziplock bags. Freeze in smaller portions when there is a large amount of leftovers. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
- Reheating: Reheat small portions in the microwave or larger portions on the stovetop until hot.
Is crockpot crack chicken keto friendly?
Yes, crockpot crack chicken is keto friendly because it is made with bacon, ranch, and cheese, and chicken. It is also low-carb!
Can I use ranch dressing instead of the ranch dressing mix?
No, it is best not to use ranch dressing instead of the ranch seasoning mix. The flavor and consistency of the crack chicken will not be the same.
Is crack chicken watery?
Crack chicken should not be watery. It may be watery if frozen chicken is used. Avoid using frozen ingredients.
More Slow Cooker Recipes
- Beef and Barley Stew – Hearty dish of stewed beef, tender barley, and veggies
- Beef Short Ribs – Sauteéd ribs slowly cooked in a beef and red wine broth
- Beef Roast – Beef and veggies slow cooked in a wine sauce
- Mexican Crock Pot Chicken – Shredded chicken with cream cheese and salsa flavors
- 2 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 oz ranch seasoning mix
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 12 oz bacon
- 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
- 4 green onions thinly sliced
- Cook bacon and cut it into bite size pieces. Set aside (try not to eat it!).
- Place chicken on the bottom of the crock pot. Season with ranch seasoning.
- Cut cream cheese into cubes and spread it over the top of chicken.
- Set on low heat, cook for 5 hours with a lid. Shred the chicken using two forks. Add cooked bacon pieces. Stir to combine together.
- Top it off with cheese and allow the cheese to fully melt. Garnish with green onions and enjoy!